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The law protects your right to defend yourself, your property and others from attack. But it is important to know how much force you are entitled to use or you may find yourself facing criminal charges. 


On Friday afternoon a tense scene played out in front of the Rouses Supermarket on Theodore Dawes Road. Three people drew their guns after a reported theft, a Mobile Police Department spokesman stated. Donnie James Moore, 60, had shoplifted steaks from the grocery store before officers arrived at 12:20 p.m., according to MPD. When a loss prevention officer tried to stop him, Moore shoved past him. Police said Moore made it to his car, where he grabbed a gun. He pulled it on the officer, MPD spokesman Officer Terence Perkins said. The loss prevention officer stepped back, pulled his own gun and aimed it at Moore. Another man watched the scene play out from his car. He pulled out his own gun and pointed it at Moore before either man could decide whether or not to shoot, according to police. The bystander fired multiple shots at Moore's car. In response the 60-year-old jumped into the car and drove off. Police found him a short time later as he tried to replace one of his damaged tires, Perkins said. Officers said the bystander, who was not identified, will not face charges for opening fire on Moore. "He acted in defense of someone else," Perkins said. "If you happen to see a situation (where) deadly force is going to be used, you have the right to defend." Moore was charged with one count of first-degree robbery because he used force while trying to steal from Rouses, according to police.

Mobile County Metro Jail records show Moore has faced multiple arrests since 1987. He's faced charges of robbery, theft and burglary before.


Mobile police have released the name of the robbery suspect who was shot and killed by his intended victim. Police also say the man's actions were justified to protect himself and possible a friend. Mobile Police say the robbery victim was with his girlfriend when he was approached by an armed man in the Twin Oaks parking lot last night. "As he and his girlfriend were unloading groceries from the vehicle and unknown male subject armed with a handgun approached him and demanded his property," Perkins said. Police have identified the suspected robber as 18 year old Michael Lanier Clark. According to police Clark had taken the victim's wallet when the man fired his own weapon hitting Clark in the chest.

Clark's body was discovered in a breezeway where police recovered the stolen wallet and a weapon. "It was just heart-wrenching to know that a life was lost over whatever he was trying to get," a neighbor said. Police are calling the shooting justified based on several factors. "What lead us to believe we have enough to present it has justifiable homicide is that the victim was actually in a place where he lawfully had a right to be. He was unloading his groceries," Perkins said. Police also say the robbery victim was confronted with a dangerous situation, and he had reason to fear for his own life. Even though the shooting has been ruled justified, police say is it still routine to present the case to a grand jury for a final decision.

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